It happened. My baby girl turned 2. I can't believe it. The past couple of weeks have been crazy - crazy busy and also just crazy emotionally as I try to process the fact that Ellie is 2. There may or may not have been a moment where I sobbed to Ian "I can't believe she's 2 and she's not better yet!"
These types of milestones have been hard for me from the beginning. When Ellie was a baby I created imaginary timelines to reassure myself that things would normalize soon. For example, there was a phase where I had to put Ellie in the Ergo and walk up and down the house, BLASTING an Irish lullaby CD while bouncing up and down with! a boob in her mouth - sometimes for a half an hour or more - just to get her to sleep. And she never slept more than 30 minutes. During that time I told myself she'd be an easier baby after her first birthday. Lots of people had told me tough babies mellow out by their first birthday. Well those people hadn't met Ellie. By her first birthday we had barely begun our elimination diet journey and hadn't even figured out she was allergic to eggs.
Anyway, I suppose I put the same expectations on her second birthday and am now having to mentally quash thoughts about things being bliss by her third. I have been having lots of thoughts and conversations about what "better" means. One realization I had is that I would settle for "comfortable." To me, better doesn't have to mean being on full GAPS (which we are still nowhere near) and it certainly doesn't mean Ellie or I get to eat the Standard American Diet. Better doesn't have to mean Ellie can eat what the other kids are eating at a playdate. But better absolutely has to mean she is not regularly telling me her tummy hurts. Better means no more waking in the night with stomach cramps. Better must include clear skin and a generally happy demeanor. Better means no more constipation or diarrhea. Is that too much for a mama to ask? I don't think so.
Ellie's birthday was also our 6 month anniversary of doing SCD/GAPS. We did 100 days of SCD and then 80-some days of GAPS. That milestone brought me a lot of frustration that we're not further along on the diet that we are. Doing GAPS dairy-free and coconut-free is awful. I am sick of meat, sick of my extremely limited repertoire of dishes and sick of feeling so restricted outside of our home. Six months is a long time and my body is asking for a change. As soon as Ellie and I are on stable ground (we are both recovering from a stomach virus) I plan to trial lentils to try to add some variety.
Oy. I just realized that is a lot of complaining. The past couple of weeks have also included a lot of amazing things. Ellie's grandparents came for a visit from Denver and we had a blast - we went on a riverboat cruise on the Willamette River and took a daytrip to the beach where Ellie got to eat salmon at a restaurant! Right after that we went to spend some time with my parents at their vacation house where Ellie got to ride her first pony. Her communication has taken a huge leap forward. She is speaking in full sentences and says all sorts of hilarious things. She is freely handing out kisses these days and today said "I love you" for the first time to me. Now that was an amazing moment.
Here's a picture of my too-cool two year old: